The Gibson Guitar company has forked over $300,000 to the federal government for the intolerable crime against humanity of failing to fill out forms to import wood from Madagascar for making guitar fret boards.
The United States of America is a bureaucrat’s dream come true. Bureaucrats get paid wages that are far above the value they contribute to society, which is mostly negative. They cannot be fired. They have lifetime employment. Then they retire in comfort — or think they will (ha, ha) — at federal expense. Ah, the good life.
This report should be been titled “Fret for Your Liberties.”
The company had imported ebony wood from Madagascar. This was illegal. Why? Because the company did not fill out forms.
The wood was used for fret boards.
The company will also donate $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This will promote the protection of hardwood trees . . . but not in Madagascar. In return, the government will not press criminal charges.
The company violated something called the Lacey Act. Here is the Justice Department’s press release.
The government raided Gibson in August 2011. Two years earlier, the government sent in armed agents to seize fingerboards. They carried automatic weapons.
[Side note. If government agents need protection against guitar makers, and must carry automatic weapons to defend themselves, why can't Americans carry automatic weapons to defend themselves against flash mobs? All we can legally carry is semi-automatic weapons.]
I am with the company’s CEO.
“We feel that Gibson was inappropriately targeted, and a matter that could have been addressed with a simple contact by a caring human being representing the Government. Instead, the Government used violent and hostile means with the full force of the U.S. Government and several armed law enforcement agencies costing the taxpayer millions of dollars and putting a job-creating U.S. manufacturer at risk and at a competitive disadvantage. This shows the increasing trend on the part of the Government to criminalize rules and regulations and treat U.S. businesses in the same way drug dealers are treated. This is wrong and it is unfair. I am committed to working hard to correct the inequity that the law allows and ensure there is fairness, due process, and the law is used for its intended purpose of stopping bad guys and stopping the very real deforestation of our planet.”
This kind of thing will end only when the federal government goes bankrupt. Be patient. It’s coming.